Friday, March 16, 2007

State Senate War Policy, the GOP and "Blown Coverage"

Chicago Tribune Managing Editor, News, George De Lama said, “You’re right, we missed that one.” [see below]
UPDATE at 4:45 pm on Friday: Late in the day, Patty Schuh, Senate Republicans Communications Director, contacted this journalist and said she could speak for Senate Republican Minority Leader Frank Watson, who was unavailable. Schuh said Senator Watson [R-Greenville] opposed the State Senate War Resolution in Committee and he viewed the Resolution [SR-65], “which was adopted on a voice vote, as not a big deal.” She said Watson “chose not to voice his opposition on the Floor because it is a non-binding resolution and it would only spark long and arduous debate that Senator Rickey Hendon [D-Chicago] would just escalate into some mass event.

Schuh said she “did not hear any no votes shouted down from the chandeliers,” but she could not give me a blanket statement that there were no senators who opposed the Resolution. Schuh acknowledged that any senator could have asked for a roll call vote, but none did so. Schuh argued that the Resolution had “tremendous amounts of good words, including support for our troops…and support for the care that we are demanding they receive when they return to the United States.” Schuh disagreed with the view that the Resolution was a repudiation of President Bush’s surge policy in Iraq.
Yesterday’s Illinois State Senate resolution regarding the Iraq War is discussed here. However, almost as interesting as the legislation is the coverage of same by the mainstream media, and in particular the two major Chicago newspapers. Also notable is the apparent silence on the matter by the State GOP—Republicans’ pledge dollars at work?

Although AP reported, as carried by the ABC-7 local Chicago news website [See here], that State Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson [R-Greenville] had no comment after the Illinois Senate’s voice vote yesterday that essentially repudiated President Bush’s recent “surge of troops,” policy in Iraq, the Chicago Sun-Times reports otherwise:

Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson (R-Greenville) ridiculed Hendon's nonbinding resolution and said legislators had no business dictating war policy. "I'm sure the Pentagon will be calling Rickey to get his thoughts on how to handle the Iraq war." [See here].

However, there was no explanation given in the media by Senator Watson for his Republican caucus'decision to express no opposition to the resolution before the voice vote and not to call for a roll call vote. The clear implication of that decision is that the Senate Republicans were happy with the impression given to the Public that no Republican opposed the Resolution. Senator Watson was unavailable for comment today on this matter. The State GOP’s Deputy Executive Director and Communications Director were also unavailable for comment today.

The Chicago Tribune carried no mention of yesterday’s Illinois State Senate Iraq War Resolution in the hard copy of today’s paper, but did carry an AP report online [See here]. However, the AP report carried by the Tribune omitted much of the AP report carried on the ABC-7 Chicago local news website, including the somewhat peculiar comments by State Senators Rutherford and Bomke.

When Chicago Tribune Managing Editor, News, George De Lama was asked today by this journalist about the Tribune’s coverage or lack thereof regarding yesterday’s State Senate Iraq War resolution, he said, “You’re right, we missed that one.” But, he noted that the Chicago Tribune did have an AP report on the matter in its online version.

Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune ace columnist and blogger, often pays attention to matters of War and Peace and the strange ways of state and local politics. However, Zorn apparently was occupied this morning with the top seven reasons given for homosexuality being immoral and Zorn’s responses to same. Fascinating stuff. Right up there with--How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? [See here]. Avogadro’s number, I think the answer is--assuming the angels are very, very small.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at